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Countdown With Keith Olbermann

News/Business. Interviews with top newsmakers; countdown of the day's top news stories.

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U.s. 10, Washington 7, Betsy Mccoy 6, Fbi 6, New York 6, Us 6, Iraq 6, Steny Hoyer 4, Jonathan Turley 4, U.n. 4, Keith 4, Texas 4, Colorado 3, Duracell Ultra 3, Duracell 3, Obama 3, Air Life Denver 3, Kansas 3, Nancy Pelosi 3, Mr. Bush 3,
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  MSNBC    Countdown With Keith Olbermann    News/Business. Interviews with top  
   newsmakers; countdown of the day's top news stories.  

    August 21, 2009
    8:00 - 9:00pm EDT  

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>> other bush apologists rush to attack tom ridge on the eve of the '04 election attorney general ashcroft and defense secretary rumsfeld pushed ridge to raise the terror threat level for purely political reasons. ashcroft spokesman today, didn't happen. now will be a nice time to use the emergency duct tape. what if anything is next? the analysis of jonathan turley and the updated edition of our special report, the nexus of politics and terror. and surprise, she's pro-choice. michelle bachman insisted you say under no certain circumstances will i give the government control of my body. all that and more now on "countdown." >> i may not always get my words right. >> after letting republican fears drive the health care debate and vacillation on it, a new poll showing democrats taking a hit so democrats are
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today vacillating. our fifth story has signs of a senate spying emerge as the house goes soft. majority leader steny hoyer saying i'm for public option and for passing a bill. we'll have to see. this is the day after pelosi said, no, we won't. but the snoot day, their majority leader preparing to do what progressives hallered for, cut the republicans loose and pass democratic health care. the newspaper roll call saying that they're preparing for possible use of the reconciliation process that would preempt a republican filibuster. we will not make a decision to pursue reconciliation until we exhausted efforts to produce a bipartisan bill, however, patience is not unlimbed. john kyle said does he not think a single republican senator would vote for either the house bill or the one senate bill that made it out of committee so far. and after republican chairman michael steel openly declared or dared rather democrats to go it alone, taunting that their reluctance to do so proves that
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democrats know the democrats -- the american people have rejected their vision of health care reform. >> don't come up in my face talking about i'm an obstacle and we're blocking this process. you got the votes, mr. president. pass the bill. they want to have this thing signed, sealed, delivered to the president's desk by july 31st. all right? they could have done it. they know it's poisonous. they know the american people will not tolerate it. >> of course, polls show americans not merely tolerating but supporting the public option. but a new poll now shows fewer americans supporting president obama on health care in general. 46% now approving the handling of health care, dproun 57% in april. 50% disapproving, doubling from 29% in april. let's turn now to clarence page, syndicated columnist from the chicago tribune. "the wall street journal" quotes a senior democratic aide saying that democratic statement
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officials the weekend that led to confusion among supporters were "calculated to test republican responses." is this, in fact, rope-a-dope, let the gop wear itself out? reveal the fundamental opposition then pass a democratic plan with or without a republican vote? or are they just pretending that's what it is? >> a lot of ways the republicans have been doing that job for the democrats. but when i heard that statement, i was trying to read the tea leaves. i'm wondering if the administration wasn't trying to talk to their own progressive wing. to float that trial balloon out there. to say that public option is not essential, that is saying, hey, we're ready to cut this overboard if we need to in order to get a bill passed. that is a direct red flag to the progressive party. and they reacted that way this week. so i personally can't help but think they were really sending signals to their own left wing. president obama did come back and say oh, no, i'm still
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committed, blah, blah. he never quite said it was essential, though, that the public option stay in there. so that's negotiable point still. >> but there are only two signals to send. in the last 24 hours, the house leaders, the democratic house leaders sent each of the signals. i mean what is steny hoyer doing? why contradict nancy pelosi publicly even if he feels the option is optional now? shouldn't he politically have the present of mind to shut up about that? >> i think just as i mentioned kathleen he is bealous sending signals to the progressive wing, i suspect hoyer is sending signals to the blue dogs saying that, well, regardless of what nancy pelosi says, the government doesn't necessary sli to hang on to the public option. in other words, he's playing that good cop to the moderates while nancy pelosi plays the hard-liner here in saying that we got to have it. so i think, you know, steny hoyer's job is to call the
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votes. he tries to pull that coalition together. this is like president obama is realizing to paraphrase will rogers, he has an organized party. he's a democrat. and traditionally they're fractious. we're seeing the results of that in this crazy august. >> the flip side of that, here is michael steel who hasn't had a cogent point to make about the republican party since he assumed office, now gives perhaps the best piece of offense that obama has gotten yet f the democrats can pass a plan without republicans but do not, doesn't that imply a lack of confidence in the plan or the acceptance of the plan? what is the reaction to that advice? >> i think what michael steel is kind of selling tickets back in chicago. he is poking and provoking the democrats on that very sensitive point right now of their own fractiousne fractiousness. they don't have the votes in the senate for the public option.
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in the house, they have a loose coalition with those blue dogs that gives them enough votes for a public option. but they couldn't have a vote right now or they would have had it. the fact that they have not got more than one out of one bill out of several committees right now is what's put democrats on the defense right now in defending the plan while republicans can just easily say, hey this is crazy. let's stick with the status quo. >> clarence page of the "chicago tribune." thanks as always. >> stay tuned. >> now with us to dig into the poll numbers we mentioned, melissa harris lacewell, african-american studies at princeton university. professor, good evening. >> nice to be here. >> republicans are crowing about the president's loss of support about how he's handling health care. it's down 11%. the publicly released poll from abc and "the washington post," but the plug line blog reported the internals of the poll also show he is down 11% on this
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topic among liberals s that not the message for the president? you know, never mind bipartisanship, you're not even getting partisanship on this now. >> i think it's more complex than that. so you have on the one hand this kind of issue-based approval rating going down. but his personal approval rating is robust. two-thirds of americans still see president obama as someone who cares about people like them. well over 60% still see president obama as a strong leader. when george w. bush's poll ratings plummeted after hurricane katrina and through the lengthy war in iraq, what americans were saying was, please stop. take your hands off of everything. please don't do anything else. we don't trust you. what the poll ratings seem to e saying to president obama right now is not stop, it's do more. we trust you. we believe in you. we think that you can do this. so show us more fire, more intensity, lead us. we're ready to go. and that's a very different sort of lesson from these declining
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poll numbers. it's still a lesson they better learn quickly. but because it's coming from the left and because it's still connected with a strong sense of president obama as a leader, he can actually use this as a rallying moment. >> well, is this -- does this then become one of those same difference kind of things? because he's lost support from moderates on the right and certainly independents because did he not stop the far rights by being aggressive on. this and he lost this 11% margin on the left because he did not energize the left nor stop the right in its tracks by leading. is the problem not, though that, he's perceived as, you suggest, not being aggressive enough here? >> i don't think it's the same difference problem though. because what the party needs to be thinking about right now, particularly these congressional democrats, is what they're going to be doing in the midterm election. can they maintain the house? and, of course, that's where all the anxiety and fear on the part of congressional democrats is coming from. can they keep the house in 2010.
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if they recognize what is likely to happen if they pass a bill without a public option or do not pass a bill at all, what will happen is in these key places where you need folks to still have the excitement and enthusiasm of the obama coattails, they will lose them. if they do not pass a bill with a public option, the democrats will lose the house in 2010. >> but this is now boiling down to a larger issue which is, okay, the dog has caught the automobile. what does it do with it? the new york mayor said years ago, "i'm not worried about a second term which is probably why i will get one." the default position for politicians elected with the leadership in all three categories, all three branches of the government elected government, isn't that just do what you think is right as opposed to what you think will get you re-elected? >> certainly for president obama that's true. but one of the truisms of political scholarship is congressmen are single minded seekers of re-election. they run so frequently in the house that they are basically
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always up for re-election. they're always thinking about those prospect which is exactly why this is where obama's leadership matters. you know, he should take a break for a moment at the vineyard. then he has to come right back out and say in a way that he's been sort of reluctant to do this is where we've got to go and we've got to go there now. >> melissa harrislacewe-lacewel thank you. have a good weekend. ironically, if the plaster falls, so, too, falls one of the villians of this entire story. betsy mccoy, fired. and the only person inside the bush administration even remotely approaching hero in terms of its exploitation of terrorism for domestic political gains is tacked by those he has ratted out but defended by one former colleague. and defended by what we have called the nexus of politics and terror, a revised edition of which we bring you to night on "countdown." if you're taking 8 extra-strength tylenol...
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the concept of presidential vacation may seem like an oxymoron to any commander in chief other than george w. bush considering he spent 177 days, one-third of his presidency either at or en route to crawford, texas. after an eight-year silence, the right, almost predictably, goes after president obama for taking
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a week off. for a weekend retreat at camp david, he'll spend the week with his family at martha's vineyard. that is reason for the astroturf group, conservatives for pay patients rights. the seven day mrs. obama will spend on the vineyard notably shorter than the vacation time taken by his predecessors during their first years in office, bill clinton took 11 days and mr. bush took 31 days to clear brush at his texas ranch. during the first week of that vacation august 6, 2001, mr. bush was handed the infamous bpd. although, to be fair mr. bush did practice constraint or restraint on his vacation in 2005. he cut short that trip by two days. it was the 2002 break at kennebunkport that defind his concept of a presidential vacation. >> i call upon all nations to do
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everything they can to stop these terrorist killings. thank you. now watch this drive. >> and later he gave up golf to honor the dead veterans. worse, tom delay's health care town hall from the '80s where he is disrupted by people in wheelchairs. great story except it happened in texas while he was in washington. and next, so desperate is this woman to stop reform she has gone so far as to insist the government has no right to tell her what to do with her body. isn't that the language of -- and when rachel joins you, anthony weiner, his response to steny hoyer going soft on the public option. reading about washington these days... i gotta ask,
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donald rumsfeld tries to rebutt tom ridge with defending himself with quotes from bin laden. and someone fires death panel fabricator betsy mccoy. these stories ahead. first, best persons in the world. dateline, new york, the best continuing fraud. shawn hannity, we told you when republican congressman spencer backus said the economy faces default in two years, max bachus of montana and he said i may face a deficit in two years, hannity never mentioned the correction. we thought it was just hannity
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stupidity. he is deliberately lying. last night he continued to repeat the quote. honestly if, the government had standards for news as stringent as it does for when you can call a beverage orange juice, fox noise would be car wash by late sunday afternoon. challiss mcaffee arrest ford taking photographs of a home then said it was part of a foreclosure investigation. when the homeowner rejected pulling a .357 handgun on the man. he is not your average gun happy man. he is member of the eight county republican central committee, a member of the idaho state central republican committee and an organizer of the idaho tea parties. and dateline in woodbury, minnesota, congresswoman michelle bachmann.
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once she is clearly not through. people need to continue to go to the town halls, continue to melt the phone lines if they're liberal members of congress and let them know under no certain circumstances will i give the government control over my body. and my health care decisions. there it s the stunning announcement from one of the most conservative members of the house of representatives. the government will have no control over her body, michelle bachmann just defended abortion and a woman's right to choose. (announcer) this is nine generations of the world's most revered luxury sedan. this is a history of over 50,000 crash-tested cars... this is the world record for longevity and endurance. and one of the most technologically advanced automobiles on the planet. this is the 9th generation e-class. this is mercedes-benz.
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how much the principles need to deny tom ridge's revelation that he was pressured to raise the terror threat level just days before preb was days before president bush was re-elected, how much they need to still push back our reporting about the nexus of terror underscored by this. in our third story, donald rumsfeld defended himself by turning to osama bin laden. in his new book, the former
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homeland security secretary mr. ridge writing -- >> now is a good time for him to use his emergency duct tape. and then a story to sell copies of the book is nonsense. in his defense, incredibly, rumsfeld quotes frequently and at length osama bin laden. given those facts, the statement continues as if there were facts, it would seem reasonable for senior administration officials to discuss the threat level, talking about the time before the 2004 election, it would have been irresponsible to have that discussion not taken place. all of that carefully missing the point. mr. ridge knew the discussion had to take place after a new bin laden tape was released. he writes about that at length.
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most notably, the timing of the tape may have been a surprise, the content was not. there had been nearly 0 audio and videotapes attributed to bin laden or his lieutenant. a threatening message, audio or visu visual, should not be the sole reason to elevate the threat level. now reporting on this issue began in october 2005 and was inspired by remarks made the previous may by mr. ridge himself. more often than not he said to an interview after his resignation, we were the least inclined to raise it. sometimes we, his department, disagreed with the intelligence assessment. sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don't necessarily put the country on alert. there were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it and we said for that? the latest revised edition now of the nexus of politics and terror. number one, may 18th, 2002, the first detaflz the president's daily briefing of august 6th, 2001, are revealed including its
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title, "bin laden determined to strike in u.s." the same day another memo is discovered revealing the fbi knew of men with links to al qaeda training at an arizona play school. the memo was never acted upon. questions about 9/11 intelligence failures are swirling. may 20th, 2002 -- >> the terror warnings from the highest levelsst federal government -- >> two days later, fbi director mueller declares another terrorist attack is inevitable. >> tonight there are even more warnings -- >> homeland security issues warnings of attacks against railroads nationwide and against new york city landmarks like the brooklyn bridge and the statue of liberty. >> that agility that -- >> number two, thursday, june 6th, 2002 -- >> i never really anticipated this kind of impact. >> the fbi agent who tried to alert her superiors to the zpes specialized flight training by
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mu sawy testifies before committee. rowley's testimony inspired similar pre-9/11 whistle blowers. monday, june 10th, 2002, four days later -- >> we have disrupted an unfolding terrorist plot. >> john ashcroft reveals an american named jose pedestrian i will padilla aarrest didilla i. psychiatrists find padilla is so trauma tiesed he's no longer mentally fit to stand trial. he is nonetheless convicted of conspiracy. but he is never tried, nor even charged with any so-called dirty bombs nor with attempted terrorism in the united states. number three, february 5th, 2003, secretary state powell sells the u.n. security council of iraq's concealed weapons including 18 mobile biological weapons laboratories justifying
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a u.n. or u.s. first strike. many in the u.n. are doubtful. months later, much of the information proves untrue. february 7th, 2003, two days later, anti-war demonstrations protesting the imminent invasion of iraq continue to take place around the globe. >> take some time to prepare for the emergency. >> homeland security secretary ridge cites credible threats by al qaeda and raises the terror alert level to orange. three days after that, prior administrator who had become the acting head of fema after the hurricane katrina disaster advises americans to stock up on plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect themselves against radiological or biological attack. july 23rd, 200 3shgs the white house admits that the cia, months before the president's state of the union address, expressed strong doubts about the claim that iraq had attempted to buy uranium from niger. on the 24th, the congressional
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report on the 9/11 attacks siis issued. an fbi informant was living with two of the future hijackers. iraq had no link to al qaeda. 28 pages of the report are retacting. and july 29th, 2003, three days late area mid all of the negative headlines. homeland security warnings of terror attempts to use airplanes for suicide attacks. december 17th 2shgs, 2003, tom says the attacks were preventab preventable. then a federal appeals court says they cannot detain jose padilla indefinitely without charges and the chief u.s. weapons inspector in iraq dr. david kay who announced he found no weapons of mass destruction there announces he'll resign his
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post. december 21st, 2003, four days later, the sunday before christmas -- >> today the united states government raised the national threat level. >> homeland security again raises the threat level to orange claiming credible intelligence of further plots to crash airliners into u.s. cities. subsequently, six international flights into this country are canceled after some passenger names purportedly produced matches on government no fly lists. the french later identified those matched names one belongs to an insurance salesman from whales, another to an elderly chinese woman, a third to a 5-year-old boy. number six, march 30th, 2004, the new chief weapons inspector in iraq tells congress we have still not found any wmd in that country. and after weeks of having refused to appear before the 9/11 commission, condoleezza rice relentz and agrees to testify. on the 31st, four blackwater usa
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contractors working in iraq are murdered. their mutilated bodies dragged through the streets and left on public display in fallujah. >> the fbi issued a new warning tonig tonight. >> homeland security issues a bulletin warning that terrorists may try to blow up buses and trains using fertilizer and fuel bombs like the one detonated in oklahoma city. bombs stuffed into satchels or duffle bags. may 16th, 2004, secretary powell appears on "meet the press." tim russerts asks him about the credibility powell placed before the u.n. in laying out a case against saddam hussein. an aide to powell interrupts the question saying the interview is over. >> i think that is one of your staff, mr. secretary. i don't think that is appropriate. >> get out of the way. >> powell finishes his answer,
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admitting that much of the information he had been given about weapons of mass destruction in iraq was -- >> inaccurate and wrong and in some cases misleading. >> on the 21st, new photos showing mistreatment of iraqi prisoners at abu ghraib prison are released. on the 24th, associated press video from iraq confirms u.s. forces mistakenly bombed a wedding party, killing more than 40. wednesday, may 26th, 2004, two days later -- >> good afternoon. >> attorney general ashcroft and fbi director mueller warned that intelligence from multiple sources -- >> indicate al qaeda's specific intention to hit the united states hard. >> and that 90% of the arrangements for attack on the united states were complete. the color coded warning system is not raised. the homeland security secretary tom ridge does not attend the announcement. number eight, july 6th, 2004, democratic presidential candidate john kerry selects
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john edwards as his presidential running mate, producing a small bump in the opinion polls and producing a huge swing in media attention towards the democratic campaign. july 8th, 2004, two days later, credible reporting now indicates that al qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the united states. >> homeland secretary ridge warns of information about al qaeda attacks during the summer or autumn. four days after that, the head of the u.s. election assistance commission confirms he has written to ridge about the prospect of postponing the upcoming presidential election in the event it is interrupted by terrorist acts. number nine, july 29th, 2004, at their party convention in boston, the democrats, formally nominate john kerry as their candidate for president. as if the wake of any convention, the democrats now dominate the media attention over the subsequent leak.
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august 1st, 2004, monday morning, three days later -- >> it is as reliable source -- group of source wez have ever seen before. >> the department of homeland security raises the alert status for financial sebtenters in new york, new jersey and washington to orange. there was reconnaissance data left in a home in iraq proves to be four years old and largely out of date. number ten, october 6th, 2005, 10:00 a.m. eastern time, the president addresses the mags allen document for democracy. once again emphasizing the importance of the war on terror and insisting his government has broken up at least training terrorist plots since 9/11. at 3:00 p.m. eastern time, five hours after the president's speech has begun, the associated press reports that karl rove will testify again to the cia leak grand jury and that special prosecutor fitzgerald has told rove he cannot guarantee that he will not be indicted.
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>> we're awaiting a news conference. >> at 5:17 p.m., seven hours after the president's speech had begun, a bomb threat was disclosed to the city's subway system based on information supplied by the federal government. the homeland security spokesman says the intelligence upon which the disclosure is based is of doubtful credibility. and it later proves that new york city had known of the threat for at least three days. and had increased police presence in the subways long before making the announcement at that particular time. local new york television stations wnbc reports it had the story of the threats days in advance of the announcement but was asked by high ranking federal officials in new york and washington to hold off on its story. less than four days after having revealed the threats, mayor michael bloomberg of new york says since the period of the threat now seems to be passing, i think over the immediate
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future we'll slowly be winding down the enhanced security. while news organizations ranging from "the new york post" to nbc news -- quotes source who's say there was reason to believe the informant who triggered the warning simply made it up. a senior u.s. counter-terrorism official tells "the new york times," "there was no their there. number 11, a sequence of events in august 2006 best understood now in chronological order. as the month begins, the controversy over domestic surveillance without legal warrants in this country crack. then on august 9th, the day after the connecticut democratic senatorial primer, vice president cheney says that this is a positive for the al qaeda types who he says "clearly are betting on the proposition that ultimately they break the will of the american people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight." the next day, british authorities arrest 24 suspects
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in an alleged imminent plot to blow up u.s.-bound aircraft using liquid explosives smuggled onboard in sports drink bottles. domestic air travel is thrown into chaos as carry on liquids are suddenly banned. on august 14th, british intelligence reveals it did not think the plot was imminent, only the u.s. did. and our authorities pressed to make the arrests. 11 of the 24 suspects are later released and in the months to come, the carry on liquids ban is repeatedly relaxed. number 12, may 7, 2007, greensburg, kansas, leveled by a tornado and the state's then governor notes more in sorrow than in anger that the redeployment of the kansas national guard and equipment to iraq may cripple the soldier's ability to respond if another disaster hits kansas. >> what we're really mising is equipment. and that sputing a strain on recoveries like this one. >> the next day, the authorities announce arrests in a far-fetched plan to attack
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soldiers at ft. dix in new jersey. the terrorists plan to gain access to the base by posing as pizza deliverymen. it is not a suicide mission. they state clearly they intend to kill personnel and then retreat to safety even though they were going to attack a closed compound full of trained soldiers with weapons. and though the plan is branded sophisticated, its perpetrators are not sophisticated enough to not have handed over the videotape of themselves training with weapons to a circuit city store in order tore transferred to dvd. the ft. dix plot not only he races for most news coverage the disaster ready us in but obscures the next day's story that in anticipation of the testimony to a house panel, attorney general alberto gonzalez has submitted opening remarks that match word forward the remarks he had given the previous month it a senate committee. >> recognizing my limited involvement in the process, i truly acknowledge the mistake.
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i have soberly questioned my prior decisions. >> and number 13, june 2007, the jfk plot to blow up the jet fuel pipeline feeding john f. kennedy international airport and causing the entire airport to be consumed in a horrific confilgration. one of the men arrested has, as a past employee, access to the sprawling complex. the manager of the system says that pipeline is not some kind of fuse, shutoff valves throughout would have contained any damage just as a leak in any tunnel in any city would not flood everything in that city below ground. a so-called plot happens to be revealed the day before the second democratic presidential debate. and as the scandal continues to unfold over the firings of u.s. attorneys and their replacements by political hacks, the so-called plot is announced by the bush appointed u.s. attorneys for brooklyn, new york and the police chief of new york
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city. >> but they would never, ever play politics with terror. except that in in addition to mr. ridge, there is a second key member of the bush administration who thinks they very well may have that and whether or not legally anything could still come of this with jonathan actuaturley next.
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you'll save hundreds over other weight-loss programs. order now and get an extra three weeks of fantastic meals. that's right, 105 meals absolutely free. call or click now. the former bush administration official defending tom ridge's second set after certifications about terrorism warnings, jonathan turley on what was left to do on what was another version of terrorism and later in "worst persons," the end of the road for betsy mccoy. - girls: yeah! - announcer: welcome to the now network.
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the possible consequences of tom ridge's version of the nexus of politics and terror, he is demonized for those claims who better to take counsel from than scott mick clelian n an e-mail to "politico," he said it is one thing if he simply felt it was politically motivated. it is quite another if he has specific information showing it was politically motivated. there is no question exploiting the war on terror is viewed about it political strategists as integral to branding the president as a strong and decisive leader who will keep america safe. if secretary ridge is making the serious aelgs allegation that terror alert was driven primarily by political concerns late in the campaign, he's going to be expected to back it up with specific information. if he k. it is a serious matter. if he cannot, then i suspect critics will pounce. let's bring in as promised george washington university law professor, constitutional law expert jonathan turley.
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john, good evening. >> hi, keith. >> frame this for us f political pressure was applied to raise the threat level in that instance or any other during the bush administration, what does that amount to in terms of abuse of power? and is there still any avenue to prosecute? >> well, it is certainly an abuse of power. it's perhaps the worst form of abuse of power. national security has always been treated as something that crossed party lines. indeed if, you recall, it was a virtual mondantra during the bu administration that anyone questioned a bill or a position of the government, you would have bush himself other others saying stop playing politics with national security. and, yet, we see in books like this, allegation that's national security was being really manipulated and used as a prop. i mean people like ridge who's obviously a very committed republican, obviously do not like the fact that bin laden is being treated like some type of rnc asset. that, you know, when you need him, you take him out of, you
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know, the backstage and bring him forward to terrify the children. and, you know, it's -- the problem with this abuse of power is that it doesn't have an easy translation into the law. it is not criminal. these different levels of threat are largely discretionary. it's not entirely discretionary for the president. he can, in fact, in his underlink can in fact play around with national security and it's not a crime. but it most certainly is a betrayal of his oath if these allegations are true. and i think your program raises a very powerful series of events, a pattern where we have had these threats that occurred at very significant moments. >> is it incumbent upon ridge to try to provide more specific information to this claim as mr. mcclellan suggests? or is this an entree to investigation or any chance of it going from here in any direction officially? >> well, you know, keith, that's
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why they don't call these tell some books. i mean when you get into an allegation like this, you're in for a ten-year panel. you need to make good the allegations, very serious allegation. it's not a new allegation. what ridge is suggesting here, critics have said for a very long time that the bush administration always seemed eager to keep fear alive. that national security had become their only selling point. they basically lost on all the other political fronts. but what it did then was create this really dangerous situation where danger was a commodity. it was something that was being used not just politically but in courts, to roll back civil liberties, for arrests. it became an entire industry. in fact, i testified to congress about how we still have this infrastructure from the bush administration with ch is occupied by people who are told, given a huge amount of money to find domestic threats.
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that's all they do. and there's a tendency when you have that large bureaucracy that is being paid, they find them. because it sort of perpetuates their existence. >> there's one other thing in the book here. we can only go into this in the most brief detail about ridge describing when they raised the terror threat level for the financial centers in august, 2004 right after the democratic convention. the white house asked him to add language to the announcement with bush's leadership on the war on terror and did he so. is there any violation in that? is that, again, is that discretionary stuff you talked about? >> unfortunately, it is bad taste, bad policy. but it's not a crime. but it is an abuse of power. and that report is supposed to be a guarantee to the american people that this is the unvarnished professional apolitical announcement of the types of risks we are facing. and basically, he is suggesting that white house treated it like a press release for the president. >> indeed it was. jonathan turley of john washington university. always great.
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thanks for the perspective and have a great weekend. >> thank you, keith. >> it's rare, that's true. but sometimes there is justice in this world. the original hit woman in health care reform, betsy mccoy, just lost a job. worst persons next. (announcer) if you think all batteries are the same, consider this:
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oddly placed in the lineup because of the time we devoted to nexus in terror, tonight's worst persons in the world. andrew malcoml of the political page, the times screwed up the tv listings for this program and issued a correction. but he wrote -- >> mr. malcolm is a very old and
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very stupid talking points that date back to 1999 or 2000 that nobody watches msnbc. on wednesday night of this week, the three argz of this program drew a collective audience of 2.2 million, each of the airings beat krn by all measures. it is the number one rated cable news program for all viewers under the age of 35. it is the number one rated news cable program not on fox plchlt malcolm claims to be a finalist in the editorial board and as such you might want to check out whether his prejudices are behind the curve that they make look like -- he mocks customers and any news organization has. for 20 years, the "l.a. times" has the largest newspaper virtual monopoly in the country. yet even before the newspaper crash, it was already approaching bankruptcy. the daily circulation dropped below 725,000. first rerun of this program the other night had a larger audience than that.
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msnbc is going to profit a quarter billion dollars this years. the l.a. times will be lucky to be publishing next year. i mentioned republican talking points. andrew mall couple's biography he notes that he was the press secretary to laura bush. runner up, tom delay of "dancing with the stars." tried to suggest that town halls about health care are chaotic. he was once the victim of one of them. when i did my town hall meetings, i'll never forget one, they brought in quadriplegics on gurneys and dumped them on a floor on the podium in front of me. the people that came in to disrupt my town meetings, we let them go on because it turned ott p people here. what is going on here is the american people are on their side. mr. delay left out a little delal, d deta detail, he wasn't there. they detailing the blockading of his office in sugarland, texas. tuesday's protesters narrowly
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escape arrest by police when delay who is in washington, d.c., agreed to meet with them next month. i'll never forget that time that thing happened that i wasn't there. can we see your birth certificate mr. delay. but our winner tonight, betsy mccoy, the originator of the lie that there is u theuthanasia in reform bill. she humiliated herself on john stewart's "daily show" resigned for her post on the board of directors of can tell medical corporation. she says she was resigning to avoid any paerns of a conflict of interesting during the health care debate. but i'm told that, in fact, she was voted out by the can tell death panel. betsy the human conflict of interest mccoy today's "worst person in the world."
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and now with house majority leader hoyer finding the public option optional, anthony weiner, ladies and gentlemen, here is rachel madow. >> good evening, keith. have a great weekend. >> you, too. >> thank you for spending your friday us with. anthony weiner has become the count country's most forceful add voluntary cast the public option, he'll be joining us in this hour in a couple moments. we also have john stewart brick by brick dismantling of betsy mccoy. there's lots to come. we're beginning with breaking news. nbc news learned that as early as monday the obama administration plans to release what we have been calling the big ka hewna. the report on the bush administration's torture program made while the program was still going on.
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this is the report that supposedly stopped the torture program in its tracks when the report circulated inside the administration. the cia inspector general's report has been described as sickening by some who have seen it. the only version of it that's been publicly released so far looks like this -- jane mayor quotes a source as saying -- >> on monday, we'll get a chance to read this report although we don't know how much of it is going to be redakted this time. a report has been posted sa says we're about to learn from this report that in cia interrogations at least one prisoner was threatened with a gun and a powerdr